If France’s regulatory body AMF banning all Forex advertising in its country and on its citizens wasn’t enough, Leap Rate uncovered that Belgium’s own regulatory authority the FSMA is taking it up a notch by not just banning the marketing and advertising aspect of Forex trading, but by banning even offering any Forex or binary options products to Belgium citizens completely.
The gist of it, a complete and total restriction on leveraged financial products for Belgium and its retail traders.
The ban includes items being offered and delivered through brokers moderated in other places in the EU (like due to the FCA in the UK or even through CySEC in Cyprus), even when the licenses from those brokers is actually passported using MiFID to Belgium.
Both the French advertisement ban, and the Belgium advertising ban and trading restrictions, are apparently the result of enhanced criticisms being made the previous year by its retail traders to country regulators. The criticisms have centered on two main concerns — Overly aggressive advertising and marketing of leveraged trading products (specifically by binary options brokers, no surprise here), and straight-up scams, including the inability of investors to withdraw cash from their accounts at several brokers.
The Belgium ban enters into impact later today, on August 18, 2016.
The restriction is actually relatively unusual, because Belgium’s regulatory authority is normally a fan, and certainly not a forerunner, in financial market policy. With a smaller country to manage (Belgium possesses a population of approximately 11 million) and with much smaller finances as well as resources bigger than other financial regulatory authorities in Europe, the Belgian FSMA typically follows the lead of the FCA, the AMF, Germany’s BaFin and others in specifying its own policies. Having said that in the case for Forex it appears like the FSMA is being an extremely hostile leading man, possibly promoted due to the recent French Currency ad restriction.
Some quotes were formally provided on the matter by Belgian authorizations, as observed below.
Minister for Employment, Economy and Consumer Affairs, Kris Peeters:
This Regulation contributes to better protection of consumers of financial products. Henceforth, it will be clear to everyone that binary options and other speculative derivatives have no place on the Belgian retail market.
Minister of Finance, Johan Van Overtveldt:
In recent years, we have seen a rise in the number of foreign offerors of products such as binary options that approach the Belgian market without having an authorization and /or a published prospectus. This Regulation will help combat such offers.
The FSMA’s websitecontains more information on the Belgium ban of Forex, binary options and CFD trading to retail traders.